NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The 2020 Hurricane Season will go down in the history books as the most active hurricane season on record and new storms can still form so the season could hold its title for a while.
As Eta still meanders in the southern Gulf another storm formed across the ocean. “Theta is the 29th named storm,” said Matthew Rosencrans a NOAA meteorologist with the Climate prediction center. That gives the 2020 hurricane season officially the most storms documented since 1851.
While Theta is pushing east and doesn’t threaten North America this side of the Atlantic felt the power of the season. Fox 8 Chief Meteorologist David Bernard points out, “There’s been 12 storms that have hit the us coastline that’s a record. The old record was nine back in 1916.”
The 2005 season set the previous record for total storms. That’s the last time the National Hurricane Center exhausted the list of names and moved into the Greek alphabet.
Rosencrans said, “We’re still not as high in the overall storm activity as we were in 2005. 2005 had four major hurricanes by the time we got into August so it really started off with a lot of strong storms so that overall factor which we call the ace the Accumulated Cyclone Energy or ACE that’s a little bit lower than 2005 now.”
ACE is another way meteorologist measure the intensity of the hurricane season, but in 2005 a lot of that storm energy didn’t make it to land.
The forecast for an active season was there early on. Bernard said, “The signs were all there at the beginning of the season. Some factors that told us hey this could be really bad. One of the most obvious ones was very warm ocean waters across the Atlantic, but really of particular importance has been the strong La Nina that’s developed in the Pacific Ocean that’s led to lower wind shear in the Atlantic and that’s one of the big reasons this hurricane season is going deep into November.”
Rosencrans said, “So you just took one, two, three, four factors and they were all in the positive direction so that really contributed to the season being above normal.”
Hurricane season continues through the end of November.
Rosencrans said, “It’s definitely a record setting season, but we don’t know where this record will finally end up when we put a bow on this tropical cyclone season.”
It is rare, but records report tropical storms in every month of the year. The next named storm would be Iota.
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